Since Fedora Core 5 includes a number of mono applications, including beagle, it seemed like a good time to try it out. Read on for my impressions of this searching application…
A number of folks have already said it, but I will add my voice to the chorus of people who thought the addition of mono to Fedora Core was poorly handled. For as long as mono existed and Fedora Core existed we were told that mono had patent issues, and could not ever be included. Then right before code freeze on Fedora Core 5 test 3, it was added in, with pretty much no useful explanation. Turns out that Red Hat joined OIN, and thus got some protection from the MS patents in mono.
Since mono is now in, it made it easy to test out beagle. I had attempted to use it on my test machine running Fedora Core development after it was added, but it had a vast number of problems there (like segfaulting, not starting, etc), so with Fedora Core 5 was the first chance to see how it works.
First the good side of things: The beagle-search GUI looks great. Having it able to search and find a string in IM conversations, emails, irc logs, web pages, rss feeds and such is very nice. I have heard that this looks a lot like Apple's “spotlight” search tool. It's pretty slick and handy. The search tool is fast. There is also a command line tool to just list the path's of files that match your string. You can do some simple search modifiers like “-bob” to remove matches that have 'bob' in them.
The beagle-status command is nice to see what beagled is doing. You can easily stop beagled with a beagle-shutdown. beagled took up about 120MB of memory on my laptop, and never really increased it's footprint, which is good.
beagled notices when new web pages, emails or IM's happen and adds them right to the index then. You don't have to wait at all to search things that just happened a few minutes ago. Very handy for finding pretty recent things.
Now, all the downsides:
Because of the re-indexing and CPU fan spikes on my laptop, I have disabled beagle for now. Perhaps in a few months I will give it a try again. It looks like something that would be very nice to have, but it's not quite there in it's current state.comments powered by Disqus